Please reference Schedule A and Schedule B for a summary of the conference budget through May 2015. As a result of the faithful giving of EPA local churches to the connectional ministries fund or CMF, the year-end 2014 results were very strong with receipts totalling $3,309,573. While this was short of the budget goal of $3.4 million by $90,427, it was a reasonable variance. Given the ongoing struggles of many churches we are pleased and grateful for the commitment made by many to support this vital ministry.
Schedule F shows monthly giving by churches to the connectional ministries fund from 2008 to 2014, a period of seven years. Giving totaled $499,439 in the month of December 2014. This was the largest amount received in any single month during the seven year period. Giving was lagging compared to 2013 through the first eight months of the year. The Conference Council on Finance and Administration (CCFA) was concerned about the drop in receipts. The committee took action, sent a letter to every pastor offering help, and made a number of follow up calls. We thank the fiancé committee for their work and we especially thank all of the local churches for their strong commitment to this ministry. There were 347 or 82% of all churches that paid over 50% to CMF and 295 churches or 70% of all churches paid 100% of the CMF apportionment in 2014.
The conference expense budget was managed very effectively in 2014 by all committee, boards, agencies and others. Total expenses were $2,797,460, $136,779 or 4.7% less than the 2014 budget of $2,934,239. In addition, the 2014 conference budget included a line item of $500,661 to be directed to the Pre-82 Unfunded Liability and the year ended producing $547,013 to the Pre-82 Pension Liability. Lower expenses helped to offset the shortfall in giving. In the first three years under resolution 2012-21, the conference budget has directed a total of $1,278,394 to the Pre-82 Pension Liability.
Through the first five months of 2015, giving from local churches to CMF totalled $1,292,419. This was $66,321 more than budget and $60,431 more than the May 2014 total. Expenses totaled $1,179,745 through May 2015 and were $121,626 less than budget. The CCFA Committee will be working over the summer months preparing the 2016 CMF budget that will be presented at an Adjourned Session in November.
Schedule C is a summary of all funds billed to the EPA local churches showing the amount billed, amount paid and balance remaining. This information is reported for the current year through May 2015 with comparative information for the previous year at the same period. In addition, the schedule shows the paid results for three previous full years, 2014, 2013 and 2012. Through December 2014 a total of $16.3 million or 90% of the total billed was paid by local churches for all funds. This is the fourth year in succession (2011-2014) that churches have paid 90% of the total billed for all funds. Through the first five months of 2015, total payments of $6.3 million were 34% of the full year budget amount of $18.7 million. This is on track with the prior year payments.
Schedule G, is a chart depicting the giving in 2014 for the three apportioned funds (CMF, WSF, GCF) and for some of the larger billed funds (RCPHO, former Direct Bill, CRSP Defined Benefits, Property & Liability, and Clergy Group Insurance). We are most grateful for churches that paid 100% or a significant percentage of what was billed. However, as the chart shows there are a significant number of churches that are paying less than 50% and some churches paying nothing at all. A full report listing all funds for all churches is provided each month to CCFA and the Cabinet.
The most recent figures from the General Board of Pension & Health Benefits shows the Pre-82 unfunded liability for the conference at $8,290,272, a decline of $2 million from the unfunded liability figure from a year ago. The projection by the end of 2015 shows a total of $6,239,717. This figure includes the payment made of $1.5 million for 2014 and the expected payment of $1.5 million to be made in December 2015. Thank you to all of the local churches for their commitment to pay the billed amount for the Retired Clergy Pension & Health Obligation, Fund 0018 on the church remittance form.
The 2014 conference budget included a line item of $500,661 to be directed to the Pre-82 Unfunded Liability according to Resolution 2012-21. The year ended producing $547,013 to the Pre-82 Pension Liability. This sum was added to the balance in the account at December 31, 2014 of $774,464.66, bringing the total to $1,345,602 as of May 31, 2015.
As to the strategy in the resolution on church sales, since the resolution was passed, church sales have generated net proceeds of $398,516. Fifty percent (50%) or $199,258 has been directed to the Pre-82 Pension Liability and the balance in the account as of May 31, 2015 is $237,802.
Fulfilling Our Covenant Stewardship Campaign is the third strategy included in Resolution 2012-21. The goal was to raise a minimum of $3 million. As of May 31, 2015, a total of $3.9 million has been pledged from individuals and churches and the total paid is $2.2 million with $288 thousand going to the churches participating in a local campaign and campaign expenses totalling $353 thousand. This leaves a net balance of $1.6 million from this strategy.
The grand total for all three strategies is $3.2 million. Separate accounts for each fund are established at Fulton Bank and managed by the Mid Atlantic Foundation of the United Methodist Church.